Brandon Spikes

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Brandon Spikes
No. 51[1]     Buffalo Bills
Linebacker
Personal information
Date of birth: (1987-09-03) September 3, 1987 (age 27)
Place of birth: Shelby, North Carolina
Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) Weight: 255 lb (116 kg)
Career information
High school: Shelby (NC) Crest
College: Florida
NFL Draft: 2010 / Round: 2 / Pick: 62
Debuted in 2010 for the New England Patriots
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2013
Tackles 286
Quarterback sacks 1.0
Interceptions 2
Passes defensed 12
Forced fumbles 5
Stats at NFL.com

Brandon Spikes (born September 3, 1987) is an American football linebacker for the Buffalo Bills of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the New England Patriots in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft. He played college football for the University of Florida, was recognized as an All-American twice, and was a member of two BCS National Championship teams.

Early years[edit]

Spikes was born in Shelby, North Carolina.[2] He attended Crest High School in Shelby, and was a standout high school football player for the Crest Chargers. Coming out of high school he was considered one of the best linebacker prospects in the nation, and was rated the number one prospect in the state of North Carolina by Rivals.com[3] and 33rd overall best player in the country according to Scout.com.[4] He was also selected to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

College career[edit]

Spikes accepted an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Florida over offers from several other colleges. At Florida, he was a four-year letterman, and played for coach Urban Meyer's Florida Gators football team from 2006 to 2009.[5] Spikes appeared in 47 games for Florida with 39 starts at linebacker. He registered 307 tackles (178 solo) in his career, with 31.5 for loss, including 6.5 sacks. He forced two fumbles, recovered four fumbles and had six interceptions which he returned for 139 yards and four touchdowns, more than any other player in the nation and a Florida school record.

Spikes saw limited action in 2006, playing in nine games and recording 15 tackles as the backup to Brandon Siler. He was a member of the Gators' BCS National Championship team which defeated Ohio State. In 2007 Spikes became a starter after Siler was selected in the 2007 NFL Draft. He started all 13 games at middle linebacker recording 131 tackles (81 solo), which was second in the Southeastern Conference. He tied for third in the SEC with 3 fumble recoveries. He also earned first-team All-SEC along with teammate Tim Tebow.[6]

As a junior team captain in 2008, Spikes was a first-team All-SEC selection and a unanimous first-team All-American.[5][7] He was selected as a finalist for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy and a semifinalist for the Lombardi Award and Chuck Bednarik Award. He was a starter at middle linebacker and led the team with 93 tackles on the season, including 8.0 for a loss. He returned two interceptions for a touchdown tying the school record. He made six tackles in the 2009 BCS National Championship Game win over Oklahoma and had seven tackles, two quarterback hurries and broke up one pass in the 2008 SEC Championship Game against Alabama. After his junior season, he decided to forgo early entry into the 2009 NFL Draft and returned to Florida for another season.[8]

In 2009, Spikes' production fell to 68 tackles (36 solo). In an October 31, 2009 game, Spikes was involved in an incident where he attempted to gouge the eyes of Georgia's Washaun Ealey. As a result of this, Florida coach Urban Meyer suspended Spikes for the first half of their next game against Vanderbilt.[9][10] Spikes later announced that he would sit out for the entire game.[11] As a senior team captain, he was one of three finalists for the 2009 Chuck Bednarik Award, a finalist for the 2009 Butkus Award, a first-team All-SEC selection, and a consensus All-American, receiving first-team honors from The Sporting News and the Walter Camp Football Foundation and second-team honors from the Associated Press.[5][7]

Professional career[edit]

Pre-draft[edit]

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt Arm length Hand size 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP
6 ft 2⅞ in 249 lb 33⅜ in 10 in 5.00 s 1.75 s 2.89 s 6.97 s 29 in 9 ft 3 in
All values from NFL Scouting Combine.[12]

New England Patriots[edit]

2010 season[edit]

Spikes was drafted by the New England Patriots in the second round (62nd overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft. He signed a four-year contract on July 26, 2010.[13] Spikes quickly became a starter at inside linebacker in the Patriots 3–4 defense, alongside Jerod Mayo. Against Baltimore in Week 6 of his rookie season, Spikes recorded 16 tackles in an overtime Patriots win. Spikes recorded his first career interception in a Week 13 win over the New York Jets on Monday Night Football.

On December 10, 2010, prior to the Patriots' Week 14 game against the Chicago Bears, Spikes was suspended four games (the remainder of the 2010 regular season) for a violation of the NFL's banned substances policy,[14] reportedly for an ingredient in Spikes' ADHD medication.[15] The same day, Spikes released the following statement:

He finished his rookie season with 61 tackles, one interception, and three passes defensed. With his season shortened by the suspension, he played in 12 games, starting eight.

2012 season[edit]

On November 16, Spikes was fined $25,000 for a late hit against the Buffalo Bills in Week 10.[17]

2013 season[edit]

Spikes dealt with a knee injury during the season, but played in all 16 games. After being late to practice in January 2014, Spikes was placed on injured reserve. Spikes was not re-signed by the team in the offseason.[18]

Buffalo Bills[edit]

On March 14, 2014, Spikes agreed to a one-year, $3.25 million contract with the Buffalo Bills.[19]

2014 season[edit]

On September 12, 2014, Spikes was fined $8,268 for a late hit on Chicago Bears wide receiver Santonio Holmes.

Personal[edit]

As a child, Spikes was raised by his brother, Breyron Middlebrooks, while their mother, Sherry Allen, worked 12-hour days at a fiberglass plant. In 2003, Middlebrooks was found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison, the result of a drug deal in 2001. He writes to Spikes regularly and watches what games he can from his cell at Scotland Correctional Institute in Laurinburg, North Carolina. He is the younger cousin of former NFL linebacker Takeo Spikes.[20]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Buffalo Bills Roster". Retrieved 2014-01-01. 
  2. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com, Players, Brandon Spikes. Retrieved September 6, 2011.
  3. ^ "North Carolina Top 30 2006". Rivals.com. 2006-01-23. Retrieved 2010-04-27. 
  4. ^ "Top Recruits 2006". Scout.com. Retrieved 2010-04-27. 
  5. ^ a b c 2011 Florida Gators Football Media Guide, University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, pp. 81, 89, 95, 97, 98, 101, 125, 153–154, 185 (2011). Retrieved August 31, 2011.
  6. ^ Curtis, Dave (2007-12-04). "Tebow, Spikes make first-team All-SEC". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 2010-04-27. 
  7. ^ a b 2012 NCAA Football Records Book, Award Winners, National Collegiate Athletic Association, Indianapolis, Indiana, pp. 11 & 14 (2012). Retrieved September 14, 2012.
  8. ^ Schad, Joe (2009-01-15). "Spikes, not Harvin, returning to Gators". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2010-04-27. 
  9. ^ "Florida suspends Spikes for eye gouge". The Sports Network (Seattle Post-Intelligencer). 2009-11-04. Retrieved 2009-11-04. [dead link]
  10. ^ Smith, Erick (2009-11-02). "Florida's Spikes to sit for first half of next game after actions against Georgia". USA Today. Retrieved 2009-11-02. 
  11. ^ Low (2009-11-04). "Spikes lengthens his suspension to a full game". ESPN.comfirst=Chris. Retrieved 2009-11-05. 
  12. ^ "Brandon Spikes Combine Profile". NFL.com. Retrieved 2010-04-27. .
  13. ^ Guregian, Karen (2010-07-26). "Rookie Brandon Spikes agrees to four-year deal with Patriots". Boston Herald. Retrieved 2010-07-26. 
  14. ^ Rapoport, Ian (2010-12-10). "Patriots LB Brandon Spikes has been handed a four-game suspension". The Boston Herald. Retrieved 2010-12-10. 
  15. ^ Walker, Monique (2010-12-12). "Reports: Spikes’s drug for ADHD". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2010-12-15. 
  16. ^ Price, Christopher (2010-12-10). "Source: Pats LB Spikes suspended 4 games". WEEI.com. Retrieved 2010-12-10. 
  17. ^ "Fines roundup: Tim Dobbins of Texans fined for Jay Cutler hit". National Football League. 2012-11-16. Retrieved 2012-11-16. 
  18. ^ Smith, Michael David (2014-01-11). "Report: Patriots put Spikes on IR after he was late to practice". Profootballtalk.com. Retrieved 2014-01-11. 
  19. ^ Brandon Spikes agrees to one-year contract with Bills
  20. ^ Long, Mark (2009-01-06). "Florida's defense finds solid ground with Spikes". Associated Press (USA Today). Retrieved 2010-04-27. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Carlson, Norm, University of Florida Football Vault: The History of the Florida Gators, Whitman Publishing, LLC, Atlanta, Georgia (2007). ISBN 0-7948-2298-3.

External links[edit]